Amazing Fantasy #15: Review

Aug 1962
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Story Name:

Spider-Man!

Review & Comments

Rating:
5 stars

Amazing Fantasy #15 Review by (December 6, 2018)
Review: A bona-fide classic!  It’s a story that everyone knows by now and has been told a million times, yet Spider-Man’s origin remains one of the best in comic history.  Not a lot to say that hasn’t been said before.  It’s interesting to note that the famous “great power, great responsibility” quote that is later attributed to Uncle Ben, was in fact said instead by the unnamed narrator.  Oddly, although Spider-Man was a test to gauge reactions, the end promises more Spider-Man stories in Amazing Fantasy, which would not happen, as he would receive his own series a few months later.  So begins the unforgettable saga of the Amazing Spider-Man!

Comments: First Appearance and Origin of Spider-Man, Spider-Man is referred to without the hyphen throughout the issue and the spider-symbol on Spider-Man’s back is colored light blue




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Fantasy #15 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

The splash page opens by promising a very different kind of superhero with Spider-Man, while showing Peter Parker being ridiculed by his classmates.  The readers are given a look at the life of Peter Parker, living with his loving Aunt May and Uncle Ben and adored by his teachers as an ace student.  His classmates, most noticeably Flash Thompson, are not so fond of him, however, as they turn down his offer of checking out the new science exhibit with him.  Frustrated by his classmates’ treatment of him, Peter goes to the exhibit alone, but is quickly enamored by the demonstrations regarding radioactivity.

            Unknown to Peter or anyone else, a spider makes its way into the path of the radioactive rays, before leaping off and biting Peter’s hand.  Startled, Peter notices the spider is glowing and suddenly starts to feel strange and steps outside for some air.  Lost in his thoughts over what just happened, Peter doesn’t notice a car speeding towards him, which he leaps to avoid at the last second.  It’s a greater leap than Peter bargained for as he jumps straight onto the wall of a nearby building and discovers he can stick to walls as he quickly climbs up the building.  He then discovers he has super-strength as he crushes a pipe on the roof of the building.

            Peter contemplates how best to use his newfound powers, as he sees a poster advertising a cash prize against wrestler Crusher Hogan.  Peter thinks it’s as good a chance as any to test his powers, but disguises himself in the event that he fails.  Peter challenges Crusher and quickly makes short work of him.  This impresses the audience, including a TV producer who promises Peter that he’ll be a star.  At home, Peter designs a costume for himself, as well as his wrist-mounted web-shooters, and decides to call himself…Spider-Man!

            Spider-Man is a smash hit on TV, dazzling everyone with his amazing powers and feats.  As Spidey is leaving the studio a cop calls out to him to stop a Burglar that he is chasing.  Peter reasons that it’s none of his business and lets the crook go by.  After many more TV appearances, Peter returns home one night to find that his uncle has been shot and killed by a burglar.  Overcome with grief and anger, Peter dons his Spider-Man costume and vows to catch the burglar.  He swings over to a warehouse where the police have the burglar cornered.  Spider-Man startles and quickly subdues the burglar, finally getting a good look at his face.  It is then that the sees that it was the same crook he chose not to stop before.  Spider-Man webs up the burglar for the cops and laments over his guilt.  Peter sadly makes his way home, having learned that with great power, there must also come great responsibility.

The Bell-Ringer

Writer: Stan Lee. Artist: Steve Ditko.

On a small Mediterranean island, old Pedros faithfully rings the bells every morning. When the island's volcano becomes active and threatens to destroy the village, the villagers evacuate but Pedros refuses to leave, staying behind to ring the bells. And for his faithfulness, he is taken to heaven just moments away from death!

Man in the Mummy Case

Writer: Stan Lee. Artist: Steve Ditko.

A criminal on the run from the police ducks into a museum. A mummy offers to hide him where he will never be found; the crook agrees and the mummy puts him in a sarcophagus. The police enter and search the museum, even looking in the sarcophagus but they can't find him--because the crook is now a slave in ancient Egypt, helping build the pyramids! 

There are Martians Among us!

Writer: Stan Lee. Artist: Steve Ditko.

A spaceship from Mars is discovered wrecked in a forest but no one is aboard. A search is made for the Martians but without success and fear grips the community. A husband and wife are nervous as he has to go out late at night but he assures her he will be okay. When she discovers they are out of coffee, the wife dashes out to the store but is caught on the way back.... When the husband returns home and finds his wife missing, he panics, knowing she must have been recognized as the Martian--and he, with his two extra arms, will be discovered next! 



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> Amazing Fantasy: Book info and issue index

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Steve Ditko
Steve Ditko
Stan Goldberg
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Steve Ditko (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Ben Parker (Uncle Ben).